Catza­ve­los says sorry amid pain

Pretoria News Weekend - - NEWS -

ADAM Catza­ve­los has apol­o­gised for the “un­speak­able pain” he has caused af­ter mak­ing a racist slur in a video widely shared on so­cial me­dia.

Catza­ve­los filmed him­self on a beach be­lieved to be in Greece, say­ing it was “heaven on earth” be­cause there were no black peo­ple, whom he re­ferred to us­ing the k-word. In his let­ter, he apol­o­gises for the “hurt and harm I caused”.

“I have watched my video and feel to­tal shame. It is hard to put into words what I want to say and gen­uinely apol­o­gise.

“I don’t ex­pect peo­ple to for­give me but will spend the rest of my life re­pent­ing and try­ing to make up for my to­tal lack of re­spect and judg­ment,” the let­ter reads.

The EFF paid a visit to Catza­ve­los’s Eden­vale home yes­ter­day.

“We just want to talk, come out, Adam – it’s sunny,” was what mem­bers of the Ekurhu­leni EFF shouted when they reached the fam­ily home.

They said they had “vis­ited” Catza­ve­los’s res­i­dence to welcome him home and give a mes­sage to him, but no­body ap­peared to be there.

Eden­vale po­lice said the gath­er­ing was il­le­gal and in­structed the mem­bers to dis­perse.

Sipho Watkins, the EFF’s Ekhurhu­leni sec­re­tary, said he was con­fi­dent that they had sent out a mes­sage to Catza­ve­los.

“The mes­sage has been sent and he knows not to mess with black peo­ple,” said Watkins.

Catza­ve­los has been booted out of his fam­ily’s busi­ness and barred from his chil­dren’s school.

Even his wife has felt the ef­fect of his ac­tions.

In a state­ment ear­lier this week, Catza­ve­los’s fam­ily said it was ap­palled by the video.

“It is ab­hor­rent and we fully dis­as­so­ci­ate our­selves from the sen­ti­ments ex­pressed. We re­ject racism in any form,” fam­ily rep­re­sen­ta­tive Nic Catza­ve­los said.

The fam­ily busi­ness, St Ge­orge’s Fine Foods, has lost clients as a re­sult of the com­ments. The Baron group sev­ered ties with the com­pany af­ter the video sur­faced.

Butcher Boys also dropped St Ge­orge’s Fine Foods as a sup­plier.

Butcher Boys di­rec­tor Der­ryck My­ers said: “We are dis­as­so­ci­at­ing our­selves im­me­di­ately from St Ge­orge’s. We do not sup­port what Adam has done.”

Restau­rant chain Braza, as well as The Rib Zone, have also dropped the com­pany.

How­ever, staff in a state­ment is­sued yes­ter­day urged cus­tomers not to aban­don them.

They said that Catza­ve­los’s ac­tions were “not con­so­nant with what (the com­pany) stands for”.

The staff state­ment‚ is­sued by a Joburg law firm, stated: “We and our fam­i­lies are fi­nan­cially de­pen­dent on St Ge­orge’s Fine Foods and a num­ber of us would be des­o­late with­out our po­si­tions within the com­pany. ”

Catza­ve­los is not welcome at his chil­dren’s school, while his wife, a mer­chan­dis­ing di­rec­tor at Nike, was also caught in the furore when the sport­ing goods com­pany dis­tanced it­self from the video.

Arts and Cul­ture Min­is­ter Nathi Mthethwa said use of the “K-word” was “ab­so­lutely un­ac­cept­able” and “had no place in our so­ci­ety”.

Phumla Wil­liams, act­ing di­rec­tor-gen­eral at the Gov­ern­ment Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem, said: “Racism is pun­ish­able by law un­der the Preven­tion and Com­bat­ing of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill. While the gov­ern­ment re­spects free­dom of ex­pres­sion‚ the public should be re­spon­si­ble in how they ex­press their views.”

Adam Catza­ve­los has apol­o­gised for the racist slur he used in a video shared on so­cial me­dia.

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